ERIC Number: ED347072
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jan-15
Reference Count: N/A
Undergraduate Environmental Science Education. Report on a Workshop at the Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Biological Science of Scientific Societies (42nd, San Antonio, Texas, August 7-8, 1991).
Weis, Judith S., Comp.
Directors and faculty members representing undergraduate environmental science/studies, in conjunction with the American Institute of Biological Sciences generated this report on the current status of and future prospects in undergraduate environmental science (ES) education. Despite their varied backgrounds and the diverse nature of their programs and institutions, they concurred on the following issues: mission and impact, curriculum, program structure, students, administration, and funding. The conclusions of the report are as follows: (1) ES programs have had a national impact, with respect to general awareness of environmental issues and in the training of professionals with the expertise to work on solving complex, cross-disciplinary environmental problems; (2) ES graduates must have an interdisciplinary perspective, with adequate depth in one of the technical areas, as well as a grasp of policy and ethics; (3) ES graduates need to have analytical and problem-solving skills, computer skills, critical thinking skills, and both oral and written communication skills; (4) ES programs should provide experiential activities through field work, internships, or research experiences; (5) strong faculty and administrative support is integral to the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary approach; and (6) increased federal funding is small relative to the scope of environmental problems and a significant barrier to program development. Four models of administrative arrangements are described and evaluated for effectiveness as support structures for interdisciplinary programs such as ES. These include a traditional departmental status, an interdisciplinary program structure with contractual arrangements for teaching responsibilities, interdisciplinary program structure with voluntary faculty participation, and programs housed within existing departments. (MCO)
Descriptors: Administration, Administrative Change, Biological Sciences, Environmental Education, Financial Needs, Higher Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Program Administration, Program Development, Science Education, Science Instruction, Student Characteristics, Trend Analysis, Undergraduate Study
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Inst. of Biological Sciences, Washington, DC.